Aspects of the rationale for the women's health trial

Ross L. Prentice, Faizullah Kakar, Steven Hursting, Lianne Sheppard, Russ Klein, Lawrence H. Kushi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

191 Scopus citations


A 5.5-fold range in breast cancer incidence rates in 21 countries shows strong correlation with national estimates of per capita intake of dietary fat, but not with other caloric sources (proteins and carbohydrates). It Is argued that certain breast cancer and hormone factors may contribute little to the explanation of such international variations In incidence of this neoplasm. It Is further argued that experimental studies in animals support a specific role for dietary fat in the promotion of mammary tumors, but the effects of calories alone seem to be largely restricted to tumor initiation. Finally, data from international, migrant-population, and analytic epidemiologic investigations are used to motivate the basic relative risk assumption of study designs thus far proposed for the Women's Health Trial, and some continuing motivations for a dietary intervention (low-fat diet) trial are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)802-814
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the National Cancer Institute
Issue number11
StatePublished - Aug 3 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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